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792Re: [anthroposophy] Owen Barfield's SAVING THE APPEARANCES

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  • elaine upton
    Apr 12, 2000
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      Dear JoAnn, and all,

      Thanks JoAnn, for the reference to the SOUTHERN CROSS REVIEW, and to a
      place where i may order that book i have been missing for so long
      now--namely, Owen Barfield's SAVING THE APPEARANCES.

      Now, i want to say more about this gem to which JoAnn has pointed me on the
      web, THE SOUTHERN CROSS REVIEW. Wonderful! What a great idea for a review
      journal, and what wonderful topics. I have not yet read all the reviews, but
      I am reading Jo Ann's review of a book by Lewis Hyde, THE GIFT: IMAGINATION
      AND THE EROTIC LIFE OF PROPERTY. This book, we are told, makes a distinction
      between the exchanges that go on in the market economy(logos=logic, reason)
      and what the author, Hyde, calls "erotic commerce" (eros=attraction, union,
      involvement, that which binds us together).

      Did i say that right, JoAnn? If not, please correct me.

      I hope you don't mind, JoAnn, but i am itching to quote your wonderful
      review. So here goes (from the review in SOUTHERN CROSS):

      "Hyde is deeply interested in the transformative gift; the gift that changes
      us profoundly, often received in the form of psychological healing or
      spiritual teachings. An important aspect of a transformative gift is that
      the transformation is not instantaneous; it requires the recipient to
      undertake some extensive and often difficult inner work in order to effect
      the transformation completely. What motivates us to undertake this labor? In
      general, it is a feeling of love and gratitude toward our teacher or

      "This can lead to problems in today's market economy, where healing and
      teaching are frequently sold rather than freely given. after all, even a
      gifted teacher, therapist, or spiritual guide must eat! It is nonetheless
      possible for an element of the gift economy to circulate above the cash. I
      recall some young parents at our Waldorf school who, although barely
      scraping by themselves, managed to come up each year with the full tuition
      for their child. When asked why they did not apply for financila aid, for
      which they certainly qualified, they looked surprised and said, 'The tuition
      is our gift to the teachers for what they are giving our child. If we could
      afford more, we would certainly give it.'

      "As an extreme example of the oppostie approach, the author mentions the
      Church of Scientology, which in 1979 (when Hyde's book was published) had a
      minimum initial 'donation' of $2,700 for a twelve-and-a-half [hour? week?]
      intensive course. This kind of exaggerated cost tends to cutt off the forces
      of love and gratitude necessary for true transformation."

      Another snippet from Hyde (Jo Ann quotes him here):
      "The point is that a conversion, in the general sense, cannot be settled on
      ahead of time. wE can't predict the fruits of our labor...To sell a
      transformative gift therefore falsifies the relationship; it implies that
      the return gift has been made when in fact it can't be made until the
      transformation is finished. A prepaid fee suspends the weight of the gift
      and de-potentiates it as an agent of change. Therapies and spiritual systems
      delivered through the market will therefore tend to draw the energy required
      for conversion from an aversion to pain rather than from an attarction to a
      higher state."

      Well, dear ones, i find this powerful stuff. I have quoted only a bit of
      JoAnn and only a little bitty bit of the book. I hope you will read the rest
      of JoAnn's review.

      Thanks, JoAnn, for the gift you give!

      >the link at Frank Thomas Smith's Southern Cross Review website:
      > http://www.southerncrossreview.org/

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